IES General English Previous Year Paper (2006)
1. Write an essay on one of the following topics in about
1000-1200 words: 40
(a) Rural Upliftment — A Stock Taking
(b) The threat of Communalism in a Plural Polity
(c) Rote of India in the Present World
(d) What is this life full of care, We have no time to stand and stare
(e) The World in 2025
(f) The Educative value of Travels
(g) Advertising and Social Responsibility
2. Write a precise of the following passage in about 200 words, using your
own words as far as possible. Please state the number of words used in your
(Note: The precise must be written only on the special sheets provided for the
purpose—one word in each block—and these sheets should be fastened securely
inside the answer book.)
Be very wary of opinions that flatter your self-esteem. Both men and women, nine
times out often, are firmly convinced of the superior excellence of their own
sex. There is abundant evidence on both sides. If you are a man, you can point
out that most poets and men of science are males; if you are a woman, you can
retort that so are most criminals. The question is inherently insoluble, but
self-esteem conceals this from most people. We are all, whatever part of world
we come from, persuaded that our own nation is superior to all others.
Seeing that each has its characteristic merits and demerits, we adjust our
standard of values so as to make out that the merits possessed by our nations
are really important ones while its demerits are comparatively trivial. Here
again, the rational man will admit that the question is one to which there is no
demonstrably right answer. It is more difficult to deal with the self-esteem of
man as man, because we cannot argue out the matter with some non-human mind. The
only way I know of dealing with this general human conceit is to remind
ourselves that man is a brief episode in the life of a small planet in a little
corner of the universe, and that for aught we know, other parts of the cosmos
may contain beings as superior to ourselves as we are to jelly-fish.
Other passions besides self-esteem are common source of error; of these perhaps
the most important is fear. Fear sometimes operates directly by inventing rum
ours of disaster in wartime, or by imagining objects of terror as ghosts;
sometimes it operates indirectly, by creating belief in something comforting,
such as the elixir of life, or heaven for ourselves and hell for our enemies.
Fear has many forms, fear of death, fear of the dark, fear of unknown, fear of
the herd and the vague generalized fear that comes to those who conceal from
themselves their more specific terrors. Until you have admitted your own fears
to yourself, and have guarded yourself by a difficult effort of will against
their myth-making power, you cannot hope to think truly about many matters of
great importance, especially those with which religious beliefs are concerned.
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty.
To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the
endeavor after a worthy manner of life.
There are two ways of avoiding fear; one is by persuading ourselves that we are
immune from disaster, and the other is by the practice of sheer courage. The
latter is difficult, and to everybody becomes impossible at a certain point. The
former has therefore always been more popular. Primitive magic has the purpose
of securing safety, either by injuring enemies or by protecting oneself by
talismans, spells, incantations. Without any essential change, belief in such
ways of avoiding danger survived throughout the many centuries of civilization,
spread from Babylon throughout the Empire of Alexander, and was acquired by the
Romans in the course of their absorption of Hellenistic culture. From the Romans
it descended to medieval Christendom and Islam. Science has now lessened the
belief in magic, but many people find more faith in mascots than they are
willing to avow, and sorcery, while condemned by the church is still officially
a possible sin.
Magic, however, was a crude way of avoiding terrors, and moreover not a very
reflective way, for wicked magicians might always prove stronger than good ones.
In the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, dread of witches and
sorcerers led to the burning of hundreds of thousands convicted of these crimes.
But newer beliefs particularly as to the future life, sought more effective way
of combating fear. Socrates, on the day of his death (if Plato is to be
believed), expressed the conviction that in the next world he would live in the
company of the gods and heroes, and be surrounded by just spirits who would
never object to his endless argumentation. Plato, in his Republic, laid down
that cheerful views of the next world must be enforced by the State, not because
they were true, but to make soldiers more willing to die in battle. He would
have none of the traditional myths about Hades, because they represented the
spirit of the dead as unhappy.
3. Write a single paragraph in about 200 words, on one of the following :
(a) The apparel oft prcclaimeth the man
(b) Habit is second nature
(c) Patriotism is not enough
(d) Nothing succeeds like success
(e) We live in deeds not in years
4. Use the following words in sentences so as to bring out their meaning
clearly. Do not change the form of the word. No mark will be given for a vague
or ambiguous sentence. 10
(e) Decimate (v)
5. Affect the directed changes in the following sentences without changing
the meaning: (10)
(a) He is so undependable that nobody believes him. (Use ‘too’)
(b) If I were there ……………….. (Complete the sentence)
(c) He showered blessings on me. (Use the passive form of the verb)
(d) As soon as the result was declared, there was chaos all around. (Use ‘No
(e) Once bitten …………. (Complete the proverb)
6. Correct the following sentences without changing their meaning. Please do
not make unnecessary changes in the original sentences: (10)
(a) Your children grew a lot since I had seen them last year.
(b) I sat in the garden when his servant had come to see me.
(c) My mother had told me that she was waiting for me from the morning.
(d) Unless you do not really work hard, there is little passivity of success for
(e) I don’t remember to post the letter fast week.
(f) Taj Mahal is a most unique love monument.
(g) My house is bigger than your.
(h) The teacher as well as the students is present in full strength.
(i) Principalship of a college is not a bed of flowers.
(j) The first few chapters are interesting but not the later ones.